My project over the winter holiday is to write an article about the buying habits of the different generations (Gen X, Baby-Boomers, etc). By the way - a big THANKS to all of you who participated in the survey earlier this month and forwarded it to your friends. I had nearly 275 responses!
To be honest, I took this writing assignment because I think our company's fevered pursuit of the 25-and-under demo is misguided - but I need hard data to prove my theory.
The survey was critical to the success of the article or it would have been a focus group of one. I'll disclose some of the findings in a later post (I'm still digging through it all) but if you have any additional thoughts on this topic, I hope you'll consider posting a comment below.
The company's rationale is: the Gen Y / Millenials are the largest consumer group in modern history. Our company must pursue them or lose them. While I agree that companies should be catering to this demographic, I don't think it's the right demographic for my company.
Our sport is sustained by people who purchase equipment, take trips, etc. This means a significant financial investment - vacations that are upwards of $1,000 per person and a set of equipment that ranges from $800 - $1,800.
From 19-25 I didn't have this kind of money: I bartered movie passes to get free oil changes for godsakes. It wasn't until my late 20's that I had any disposable income to speak of - so if we're going to target younger people, shouldn't it be college grads with a few years work experience under their belts?
The counter argument is, "the college kid can talk his/her parents into footing the bill for the gear and vacations." I'm not sure that's realistic unless you have the parents' buy-in to begin with (in other words - someone in the family already participates in our sport). Personally I could never have talked Mom into forking over for something like this. Helping me out with a car was one thing - it allowed me to have a job. She would not have seen the value of scuba diving lessons.
So is it still all about the baby boomers? Are they the cash cow? I'm not really sure. I think about other things boomers like (golf, taking cruises) and I don't see them bringing the younger generation along on those activities. Maybe it would be the same for diving.
What about Generation X? Often derided as "pessimistic" and "too small of a population" by marketers - maybe it's time to give a crap about the slacker generation. Hey, we invented Facebook doesn't that count for something?
Lastly, I'm having a hard time assigning "crunk" to Gen X or the Digital Generation (aka Millenials). If you have a sec, please vote in my poll.